Ag Ministers Focus on Global Market Opportunities

CANADA - Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture met on Friday (5 February) on a range of issues critical to the long-term success of farmers and the agricultural and agri-food sector across the country.
calendar icon 9 February 2010
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The meeting, co-chaired by federal Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz, and Bob Bjornerud, Saskatchewan's Minister of Agriculture, focused on the economic situation, the competitiveness of the sector and ongoing efforts to strengthen Canada's food safety and livestock traceability systems.

"Canadian agricultural products are among the best in the world," said Mr Ritz. "With the Market Access Secretariat now fully up and running, we are working with provinces and territories, and with industry, to identify their market priorities, both domestically and abroad, to ensure we seize every opportunity to sell our products."

Ministers discussed the Business Risk Management (BRM) strategic review, recognising the need to look to the future. FPT governments will initiate consultations with producers and agricultural groups on the challenges facing the sector, BRM programmes and the opportunities that lie ahead. The results of those consultations will be reported back to Ministers at their next meeting.

"Governments have a responsibility to listen to producers," Mr Bjornerud said. "Farmers and ranchers are the first people impacted by the policy and programmes we create. We need to engage our producers as we work to improve our Business Risk Management programming."

Governments are also determined to ensure that programmes continue to respond to the sector’s needs, including the examination of options such as livestock insurance, to help producers secure a stable and prosperous future.

The federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers will hold their annual meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on 6 to 8 July 2010.

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